Mitch or Ditch?
The social media keyboard warriors have been out in force demanding Aaron Mitchell retains the ride on Seannie in the Karrakatta Plate. Seannie appears an extremely difficult horse to ride. She doesn't jump well. She races greenly and she is currently racing over a sprinting distance so it is always a possibility a race will get away from you if giving the front runners too much of a start.
Simon Miller's recent use of Aaron Mitchell in feature races and events where he rides at his catch weight of 55kg probably gives you the indication he rates him a touch higher than stable stalwart Peter Knuckey who looks to be playing second fiddle to the kid. I don't totally disagree with this, I think there is very little difference between the two.
My problem is not Aaron Mitchell. He can ride OK. But the difference between OK and top line is often the difference between first and second. Where do you draw the line between loyalty and winning a $500,000 race? How often do these type of opportunities come along? Simon Miller has form in this area after Brad Parnham had a nightmare on First Among Equals in the Winterbottom Stakes (still brings a tear to my eye). On that occasion however it was the owners who wanted Brad on board. He made it clear it was not his choice of rider and he was visibly upset post race. Clearly the lesson has not been learnt. The states premier sit and sprint rider, William Pike would take the mount. A strong Eastern states jockey would take the mount.
This is the best horse in the race by a long way and will still be my on top selection, I just hope we don't see a repeat of Jake Casey on Vega Magic (Prince Of Wales & Winterbottom Stakes) or the worst I can remember; Joseph Azzopardi on Kia Ora Koutou (Victoria Derby). The excuse 'he knows the horse well' is not one which flies with me.
23 Comments | 3 weeks ago